Wrapping up a brief three game road trip, the Orlando Magic traveled to Boston to take on the Celtics for the second time in five days. Much like their game Sunday, the two sides played a tight one, with the Celtics eeking out the victory 95-88.
Early on was a struggle for both teams, with the ball not going through the net with any consistency. However, after a timeout by James Borrego, the Magic began to find their rhythm. Following the timeout, the Magic went on an 11-0 run to grab an eight point lead. Orlando's lead reached as many as 10, before a pair of three-pointers from the Celtics cut it down to four heading into the second quarter. Tobias Harris led the way for the Magic early, scoring five points in the quarter. Former Magic big man Brandon Bass led the way for the Celtics, posting six points in the opening 12 minutes.
After a sluggish end to the first quarter, the Magic gave up a quick 5-0 run to allow the Celtics to take the lead back. The Magic answered, going on a 10-4 run of their own to retake the lead and push it to five. The conference foes traded baskets for much of the remainder of the quarter, including a pair of free throws from Nikola Vucevic after a flagrant foul on Boston's Tyler Zeller. Elfrid Payton knocked down his second three ball of the game late in the quarter, marking the first time he's hit more than one three-pointer in a single game all season. Two late buckets from Victor Oladipo and Harris aided the Magic in carrying a 10 point lead into the halftime break. Payton led the way for the Magic with 11 at the half, with three Celtics, led by Bass, finishing with six in the first half.
Out of halftime, the Celtics opened the half with a quick 7-0 run to cut the Magic lead down the three. Once again, the Magic answered, going on an 11-4 run of their own to push their lead back up to 10. The two sides traded buckets for much of the remainder of the quarter, with Payton seemingly putting the Magic on his back. He was able to get anywhere he wanted against the Celtics defense, and found himself with easy looks around the rim. However, Boston began to us a "Hack-a-Payton" strategy, forcing the rookie to the line where he struggled mightily. Despite being 3-13 from the line, Payton continued to lead the way with 17 points and seven assists. Evan Turners 14 led the way for the Celtics.
With the game up for grabs, both teams came out firing. Kelly Olynyk scored five quick points for the Celtics, cutting the Magic lead to just one, before baskets from Luke Ridnour, Vucevic and Maurice Harkless slowed the bleeding for the Magic. Following those buckets, things stagnated, with both teams struggling to score for nearly three minutes. A pair of three's from Olynyk and Avery Bradley cut the Magic lead back down to two. Turner tied things up before the Magic pushed the lead back up to four. A six to nothing run by the Celtics helped them take a two point lead with just over two minutes remaining.
A dunk from Vucevic tied things up, before Turner hit another big shot to once again put the Celtics up two. Following a miss from Payton, Turner knocked down a jumper over Vucevic's outstretched arm to put the Celtics up four with just over a minute to go. A turnover from Oladipo, and an and-1 from Bass all but sealed the game for the Celtics.
Turner led a group of four Celtics in double figures, finishing with a game high 30 points, just four off his career high and a new high mark for the season. Olynyk knocked down a set of three balls en route to 13. Phil Pressey added 10 points and 10 assists off the bench, with Bradley finishing with 10 of his own.
Five Magic men finished in double figures, led by Payton's 20 points and nine assists. Harris and Vucevic each finished with 16, with Vucevic adding 11 rebounds for yet another double-double. Aaron Gordon put together a solid game on both ends, finishing with 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench, with Oladipo adding 11 of his own.